Wow. Just, wow. Divest from the War Machine coalition, you are on a roll! We’ll try to fit all of your divest wins since our last reckoning in this one email, but it will be long—I hope you can reach the bottom!
Raytheon’s Annual Shareholder Meeting
In late May we disrupted war profiteer Raytheon’s annual shareholder meeting to highlight the gruesome fact that their stock goes up when folks suffer and die. What kind of profit model is that? Then, in June, Chicagoans took to the streets to put the Boeing corporation on notice that making a profit on the war on Yemen is unconscionable. These same wily folks will be back on Boeing’s Chicago doorstep tomorrow at noon—RSVP here to join!
Mayor Tubbs Divests!
Have you heard about the progressive mayor of Stockton, CA? We asked Mayor Tubbs to commit to divesting his city from the war machine, and he said yes! Drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org if you live in Stockton because we’ll need to keep the pressure up to help Mayor Tubbs make divestment happen. Getting a mayor to commit to working with their city council is the first spark, we need people like you to light the fire.
Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang Divests!
Another way we ask politicians and would-be politicians to help us divest from the war machine is by pledging to stop taking campaign contributions from the top five weapons manufacturers. Andrew Yang is the second presidential candidate to promise no campaign contributions from and limit the influence of the top 5 weapons manufacturers on his future policy positions! Help us convince the remaining candidates they need to commit too by sending them a message today. Tell the 2020 candidates they need to divest!
On June 3rd, the Charlottesville, VA. city council voted to join the war machine divestment vanguard by agreeing to divest the city operating budget from weapons manufacturers and fossil fuels producers! The historic vote shows us with a little people power, we can win—and that coupling divestment from weapons corporations with fossil fuel producers can be a winning strategy! Sign up here if you want to join the effort to divest your town from the war machine.
Did you miss the webinar on divesting from the war machine? No problem! You can watch the recording, then sign up here to get started working on divestment locally! Or join an existing local team for an upcoming event:
- The Philadelphia local coalition will be holding its next meeting soon to continue the work on divesting the city pension fund—email Maya at email@example.com if you wish to join.
- The Oregon coalition has local teams in Portland, Corvallis, and Eugene, in addition to the statewide group. Folks in Eugene recently hit the Saturday Market to talk war machine divestment with the public, the research team continues to gather information, and the Corvallis team is developing a city resolution to bring to their City Council. The next statewide meeting will be a call on August 1st, RSVP here to join! If you live in Oregon, will you send a quick letter to the editor of your local paper? Even if this is the first letter you’ve written, we make it easy for you: click here for a quick template and link to your paper.
- The Seattle coalition will be holding a meeting and potluck on August 4th, RSVP here to join and get to work divesting from the war machine in the Emerald City. And if you’re in the Spokane, Washington area, save the date for August 16th when some of us will be at the Veteran’s for Peace annual convention to discuss divestment.
We’re protesting war profiteers from coast to coast! In a show of solidarity with members of the Raytheon anti-war coalition in Boston, CODEPINK in San Francisco held a demonstration outside BlackRock’s offices protesting the fact that BlackRock is the world’s largest investor in weapon companies, including Raytheon. CODEPINK held solidarity protests with the Raytheon anti-war coalition in Boston because it was announced that the JFK Presidential Library, located in Boston, would partner with war profiteer Raytheon, a company contributing to the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Raytheon also sells its weapons to Saudi Arabia, the number one country leading the assault on Yemen, which have resulted in war crimes.
We know that BlackRock blames its investors for choosing to invest in weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon. Yet BlackRock’s iShares Aerospace and Defense ETF holds trillions of dollars in weapon makers, making it a lucrative option for its investors. We stood in solidarity with the Boston Raytheon anti-war coalition because CODEPINK believes that BlackRock needs to phase out the ETF and stop promoting Raytheon stocks to its shareholders. If you’re interested in doing more research into the connection between BlackRock and weapons manufacturers like Raytheon, email Nancy.
Exposing Elbit Systems
Where there are militarized borders there will be death, suffering, and repression. That’s why as part of the Divest From War campaign, we are calling on members of Congress to stop taking campaign contributions from Elbit Systems, the Israeli weapons company raking in millions from contracts with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
In 1994, the United States implemented a border militarization policy called “Prevention Through Deterrence,” which sought to establish control over the Southwest by sealing migrant crossing routes at U.S.-Mexico border towns and cities, intentionally leaving the dangerous desert as the only crossing area. Prevention Through Deterrence is the reason Oscar Alberto Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, lost their lives in the Rio Grande River on Sunday, June 23 on their journey from El Salvador to the United States.
One of the central players in U.S. border militarization is the Israeli weapons and surveillance company Elbit Systems. Elbit, Israel’s largest weapons company, has several contracts with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for border surveillance in Arizona and Texas. The most recent contract with Elbit was signed on June 27, 2019 for $26 million for more towers in Arizona. Technology sold to DHS by Elbit System is based on the same surveillance technology Elbit supplies to Israel to aid their separation wall in the West Bank and their siege of Gaza. From Palestine to Mexico, Elbit is complicit in death and repression. Join us to call on Democrats in Congress to oppose funds for further border militarization and to reject campaign contributions from Elbit Systems. See the list of U.S. Congress members who have received campaign contributions from Elbit Systems here.
NYC — Where Divestment Never Sleeps!
We held a successful End All Wars Forum at the People’s Forum with nearly 100 attendees featuring expert community leaders on ending US-sponsored death and destruction at home and abroad. We heard from #DivestfromWar campaign members who recently introduced a resolution in NYC Council to divest pension funds from nuclear weapons. Another “Move the Money” NYC City Council resolution demands public hearings on the harm of federal military spending. We learned from the recent successes of the #BackersofHate campaign, which has forced major banks to divest from private prisons. We joined nationwide “Lights for Liberty” protests to stand against the inhumane caging of immigrants and refugees.
Our local Divest campaign members also met with the District Director of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Office, who reaffirmed that AOC supports divesting from war, and she does NOT take donations from weapons manufacturers. Divest from war is on a roll in New York City, to get involved in the NYC area, contact Sarah.firstname.lastname@example.org!
It’s almost the end of summer vacation and many of us are gearing up to go back to school! We’re organizing students at universities around the country to divest their tuition money from the war machine. If you’re interested in learning how to start a campaign to divest your university from weapons manufacturers, fill out this form and an organizer will be in contact with you!
Towards a weapons-free future,
Ann, Ariel, Carley, Clara, Jodie, Kelli, Lily, Maya, Mark, Medea, Megan, Nancy, Paki, Ryan, Sarah, Teri, Tighe, Umama, Ursula, and Zena